This Cleveland road trip is a bit of a homecoming for two Rangers pitchers.
Cole Hamels is back with the Rangers, back in the rotation with guns and bulk ammo, after missing exactly two months of the season from injury. Getting Hamels back is a huge. It will be interesting to see what he and Darvish can do for an extended period of time (fingers crossed) at the top of the rotation, and how the Rangers respond now that Belte is back in the lineup and Rangers hitters are starting to gel. The bullpen is still a mess and there is no way Banister will let Hamels go more than six innings or 75 pitches for a while, so the bullpen will be taxed even more.
Tanner Scheppers is also returning to the scene of the crime that seemed to derail his career. A first-round draft pick in his second big league season in 2013, Scheppers was a valuable asset out of the Rangers bullpen. By the time the team landed in Cleveland on July 25, after a series in New York against the Yankees, Scheppers was Ron Washington’s eighth-inning guy. He was 5-1, with 18 holds and a stellar 1.74 ERA.
But he showed up in the vistor’s clubhouse in Progressive Field the next day with a black eye and a face full of scrapes. Apparently, he had gone out to get a bite to eat after checking into his hotel, around 10:00 pm, and a few blocks from his hotel he was mugged by a roving band of thugs who beat him up but didn’t rob him, as he said he reported to the police.
He chose not to file a police report, though. And he told reporters that the cops told him that sort of thing happens all the time in Cleveland.
Only it doesn’t. And it didn’t.
Scheppers made it all up. He got his lights punched out in a bar fight at 2:30 am, and was too spineless to admit it, choosing to make up a story instead.
But the story did sort of turn out to be true. Ever since, he has been beaten up by a roving band of major league hitters.
Cole Hamels (2-0, 3.03) vs. Carlos Carrasco (8-3, 2.99)
Game time: 6:10